Scouting and more

A Trinity Forks chapter NPSOT pop-up field trip was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10th. And since the rain had occurred earlier in the week I needed to make sure we could cross the creek. So on Thursday, Feb. 8th, Jeanne and I went to check it out. The day was perfect, cool but sunny.

The Tadpole Snails (Physella acuta) were out in force in the creek! For a close up and a movie look back at the Second Creek post.

What treasures and life could we find that was different from our last visit. To start, a larva. The current pushed it around. I do not not what kind it was.

Jeanne spotted a frog. It sure blended in!
It would be very hard to find if we hadn’t watched it move to its new location!

The frog was a bit chilled and was reluctant to move.

With the last nudge, it was close enough to the shore that I could catch it.

Enough already and it was gone!

The little guy was safe again! Michael helped me with the ID as a cricket frog. The vague, backward-facing triangle between the eyes is a clue according to Michael. And tentatively a Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi). Thanks Michael. Check out Michael’s two reptile books, The Wild Lives of Reptiles and Amphibians and Herping Texas.

In Texas this frog conservation status is secure (S5). However further north (MN & WI) it is critically imperile(S1). Also I learned a new term, aestivates. Instead of the winter hibernation, aestivation occurs in the summer. “Aestivation is characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions.[1] It takes place during times of heat and dryness, which are often the summer months.” Love to learn new things!

And the creek was just fine for crossing. So my scouting mission was accomplished.

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Were you able to have the field trip on the 10th? My previous commitment that day was canceled because of the weather.

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